More than a thousand people passed through the doors of St Thomas of Canterbury Church for the annual Garden Quarter Christmas Market earlier this month.

Visitors and shoppers were greeted with more than 30 stalls as the Garden Quarter Community combined with the parish church for what has become a flagship event in the neighbourhood’s calendar.

Millie Stevenson as an elf

Lord Mayor of Chester Bob Rudd opened proceedings accompanied by a choreographed medley of Christmas songs by the children of Theatre in the Quarter’s Jigsaw group.

Visitors were also treated to festive entertainment throughout the day from Chester Blue Coat Primary School children, Dee Sign Choir and Chester’s Little Big Band. The market included a grotto where the Garden Quarter elf welcomed dozens of children as they visited Father Christmas.

Volunteers from the local community joined forces with members of the congregation in the planning and preparation of the event.

Organiser Noel Baker was thrilled with the number of people who turned out on the day.

Garden Quarter Christmas Market

He said: “There was a wonderfully diverse array of quality stalls this year, and all the stall holders seemed very happy with their sales figures. Every single fresh Christmas tree was sold and the fact that we ran out of mulled wine, Gaelic coffee and every last home made mince pie suggests that this has become a very popular event in the city.”

Cllr Rudd said: “This was the third year of the joint fundraising fair (for both church and the Garden Quarter Association) to be held at the church, it gets bigger and better each year and there were some fabulous gifts on sale which were made locally. I recently had the opportunity to see Garden Lane with all the Christmas decorations, it looked really great, thanks to the hard work of the Garden Quarter Residents and Traders Association who have worked so hard to improve the locality. The Garden Quarter is a lively place and with so much going on at all times of the year, it is a fantastic place to represent as their Councillor.”

Christmas in the Garden Quarter continues with candlelit carol services at Garden Lane Methodist Church on Sunday, December 21, at 6.30pm and at St Thomas of Canterbury at 6.30pm, on Christmas Eve. There will also be the annual Cambrian Nativity event where the youngest baby in the neighbourhood plays the starring role of baby Jesus.